Whats The Difference Between Unitarian, Episcopalian, Agnostic, Christian And Methodist Vs. Roman Catholic?

Reader Question – I am interested in these more “liberal” type religions, and want to know what some of the main differences are in their beliefs as opposed to the Roman Catholic churches beliefs.

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9 Responses to “Whats The Difference Between Unitarian, Episcopalian, Agnostic, Christian And Methodist Vs. Roman Catholic?”

  • Lilly says:

    why dont you just go join a cult. Since you so badly want to be a part of something.

  • lol wut says:

    Unitarians do not believe in the holy trinity – hence “unity”.
    Episcopalian is a sort of halfway house between catholic and protestant and hence is very liberal on the whole as it can seem to believe almost anything. Methodism is an offshoot of it that started in England in the 18th century when the episcopal church (known as anglican here in the UK) really wasn’t doing its job, so one of its priests went preaching around the country and accidentally started a new denomination.
    Christian includes catholic, episcopalian, methodist and all the other kinds of protestant.
    Agnostic is not a religion at all – just an admission that you don’t know whether god exists or not.

  • The Dark Side says:

    Episcopalians are closest to Catholics; as a matter of fact, some people call them “Catholic Lite”. If you went to an Episcopal service, you would see that all the responses are the same. Also, they do Communion every service just as Catholics do. The difference is that they don’t believe the Bishop of Rome is superior to other Bishops and you can believe in transubstantiation like Catholics do, but if you don’t you’re not considered wrong. Episcopal priests can marry and have families, too. And saints are to be learned about as examples of well-lived lives, but they don’t pray to them. Confession is a community prayer that is part of the Eucharist, but if you feel the need to confess to a priest or seek advice, you can do that, too.
    “Christian” is not a denomination. It encompasses Catholic and Episcopal and Orthodox and the several hundred other Protestant forms of the religion. Methodists broke from the Episcopalians. They are similar but less formal in worship style.

  • Sixfeett says:

    Unitarian and Episcopalian lean toward being more liberal.
    Agnostic is not a religious group.
    Christian can not be referred to as a sub-group of it’s own self.
    There are liberal and conservative Methodist churches.

  • Skeptic says:

    Unitarian Universalists beleive that all paths and traditions lead to the same place and hold same value. I am pagan and a Unitarian Universalist. I am not required to beleive in a specific dogma or doctrine. I can appreciate what other traditions and paths bring to the table and still disagree. At the UU church I attend I sit with agnostics, atheists, christians, jews, and pagans.
    **ADD**
    Actually Unitarian Universalists origins are Christian in nature. For whatever reason, they are still listed as a Christian Church.

  • Nekhtet says:

    In the USA, Unitarians have been Unitarian Universalists since 1961. They are the oddest church around. They expect each person to make up his/her mind about the nature of God. This confuses, amuses and annoys Protestants, Catholics and Jews alike. You could think of them as a church for people who do not fit in a normal church.
    The Unitarians started out as Christians who did not believe in the Holy Trinity. They evolved. The Universalists started out as Christians who believed everyone goes to heaven, sort of like believing all caterpillars become butterflies. The analogy isn’t exact because some caterpillars get eaten. The Universalists evolved too. The two merged in 1961.
    Agnostics are the most humble of any believers; they believe that the nature and existence of God is beyond human understanding. Atheists, by contrast, believe they know the answer to “Is there a God?”, and the answer is “No”. Jews, Christians and Muslims believe they too know the answer, and it is “Yes”. Hindus believe there is one God with many manifestations or many Gods, depending on how you look at it. I don’t know enough about their faith to explain it any better than that.
    Some Agnostics belong to UU congregations. Some Atheists, Theists and Deists do too. Not all UUs are agnostics and not all agnostics are UUs.
    In the USA, many people will use “Christian” to mean “Fundamentalist Christian”, as in “I’m not Catholic – I’m a Christian”. If you want to be accurate, Christians are followers of Jesus of Nazareth, the Christ. They split off from the Jewish faith at the time of Jesus and have been splitting ever since. They have three main branches, Orthodox, Catholic and Protestant.
    Orthodox and Catholic split in 1054. Both claim to be the One True Church. The Orthodox are those Greek and Russian guys with square beards and icons. Catholics are the one with the Pope who lives in Rome. That is a gross simplification, and there are more countries involved.
    Protestants started splitting off from the Catholics with Martin Luther in the 1500’s. They include Lutherans, Methodists, Presbyterians, Episcopalians, Baptists and hundreds more. Episcopalians are Protestants. They split off from the Church of England shortly after the American Revolution. Methodists are Protestants. They were Church of England or Church of Scotland or Presbyterian until John Wesley came along; then they started following him.
    Fundamentalist Christians, the ones people sometimes mistakenly mean when they say “Christian”, believe they have gotten back to the fundamental beliefs of Christianity. Their services tend to be plain, their ministers don’t wear fancy stuff (The Pope, by contrast, has silk robes and a crown, like a king, only bigger, although he doesn’t wear it every day) and they read the Bible a lot. They tend to be conservative in their politics.
    All of this is brief and simple. You can read Wikipedia articles about everything I mentioned, if you are interested. I see I skipped the beliefs.
    The Roman Catholics believe the Pope is like a King of the church, sort of. The Cardinals are princes and the Bishops are dukes. (Again, this is a gross simplification.) Their priests don’t marry. They believe the communion wine becomes blood and the wafer becomes flesh.
    Protestant and Orthodox priests can marry. The Orthodox churches all have popes, one per country, more or less. He is called a Patriarch. Protestants don’t have Popes, although some have a head bishop or a president of the denomination.
    Some Protestants will argue over things that seem silly to outsiders, like whether it’s OK to play the piano in church, or if you can baptize in water that isn’t flowing. (Like a lake instead of a river.)
    Disclaimer: I’ve been a UU since 1974. I’m not a religious scholar, nor am I a minister.

  • Ted Pack says:

    Unitarian is not a Christian religion and off course Agnostics are not either. The other religions mentioned are Christian, but may vary in their doctrines.http://www.carm.org
    may help you with different religions

  • FROG E says:

    Semantics.

  • rick says:

    Unitarians are not considered a ‘Christian’ religion, however, a Unitarian can be a Christian. The general belief of modern day Unitarianism is that ‘all paths lead to the same place’ wherever that may be. At one time Unitarianism was a Christ-based faith tradition, but after merging with the Universalists (hence, Unitarian-Universalists) they became ‘non-sectarian’. The Unitarian faith at one time considered itself to be a part of mainline protestantism, a major difference being that unlike most other Christian traditions that are ‘Trinitarian’ or believing in the Trinity, ‘Unitarians’ were actually what they said, believing that God was one person, rather than three in one. They were against the concept of the Trinity.

    The Episcopal Church is the American province of the ‘Anglican Communion’ which is a loose federation of churches which all trace their succession, and lineage to the Church of England or the Anglican Church. The Anglican Church unlike other protestant Churches broke ties with rome over politics rather than theology, thus the Anglican Communion is very similiar in worship and theology to Catholicism, and is seen by many as the “bridge-church’ between protestantism and Catholicism. Episcopalians/Anglicans retain the same sacraments as Catholicism, including the priesthood and apostolic succession (the succession of bishops back to the apostles through prayer and laying on of hands). Anglicanism/Episcopalianism tends to put lesser emphasis on saints and tends to have a a more open view in regards to varying styles of worship. The Anglican Communion sees the ‘pope’ or the ‘bishop of Rome’ as being no more or less than any other bishop, but equal. The Anglican Commmunion also tends not to take as formal an approach on the Eucharist as Catholicism does. Episcopalians/Anglicans believe in the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist, but arent willing to say how or in what manner, as they are unsure and tend to have varying views in the manner in which Christ becomes present. Anglican/Episcopalian clergy (deacons, priests and bishops) may be married if feel so called to, or they may remain single. Most Anglican provinces ordain women, the Episcopal Church being one of them. In recent years, the Episcopal Church has become increasingly progressive and open in regards to human sexuality. As of August 2009 the Episcopal Church signed a formal statement saying that open and partnered gay, lesbian and trans-gendered persons may be admitted to all three orders of ministry, deacons priests and bishops and that the church would begin to formalize a liturgy for same sex union ceremonies.

    Agnosticism is not a religion. Rather, Agnostics are those that are not willing to say whether God does or does not exist, but rather tend to take a “mabey he does, mabey he doesn’t, either way, it doesn’t effect me” approach to the concept of the divine.

    Methodism was a branch off of the Church of England (Anglican Church). It’s founders John and Charles Wesley were brothers and both priests of the Anglican Church. Originally Methodism started as a movement within the Anglican Church. It’s primary intent was to purify the Church of England in a sense. John and Charles felt the church of England was becoming more focused on tradition and less focused on helping the poor or the sick or the elderly. The Methodist movement was primarily based around weekly bible studies, as well as Holy Communion. Eventually, the movement came to the United States where it took hold and formally became an independent denomination. Methodism still holds many similiarities to its ‘mother church’ The Anglican faith. Recently the United Methodist Church and the Episcopal Church have been talking about re-uniting in a sense… or rather, forming a full-communion relationship with one another. Part of this agreement would entail Episcopal bishops laying hands on all methodist bishops and pastors, conferring Anglican orders upon them, bringing them back into apostolic succession (the succession of bishops back to the apostles).

    The term ‘Christian’ encompasses all faith traditions that observe Jesus Christ as the son of God, and the Risen Lord and Saviour of humanity. Episcopalianism, Methodism, Lutheranism, Roman Catholicism and many many others are all Christian. Some Christian congregations tend to use the term ‘Christian’ in their title. An example would be if one sees a congregation with the title ‘Faith Christian Church’ this tends to refer to congregations that are ‘non-denominational’ meaning that they affiliate themselves with no particular denomination, and they are independent. Thus they just recognize themselves as Christian, period.

    Roman Catholicism claims to be the first established Christian Church, but this is very arguable. Historically, it was neither Roman Catholicism nor Eastern Orthodoxy, but both. In 1050 when the ‘great schism’ occured, the Western church which became known as Roman Catholicism, and the Eastern church, which became known as the Orthodox Churches split over both politics and a small difference in a clause in the Nicene Creed. In the Western World many tend to accept that ‘Roman Catholicism’ was the ‘first’ established church after the Constantine sanctioned Christianity. However, in the Western part of Europe and parts of many parts of Africa ie: Greece, Armenia, Abania, Egypt etc… The Orthodox tradition is recognized as being ‘first’. Most mainline protestant traditions ie: Lutheran, Reformed, Baptist… are direct breakoffs from Roman Catholicism. Other ‘protestant’ traditions are breakoffs from other Protestant traditions
    (*Most Episcopalians/Anglicans do not wish to be recognized as ‘protestant’ but rather ‘Anglican’ since the ‘English Reformation’ was seperate from the ‘Protestant Reformation’ and over very different reasons, politics, not theology.

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